Once upon a time, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had a political future so bright he had to wear shades. Now, he’s just considered shady.
The once-dashing Wisconsin Congressman is bleeding support among fellow Republicans, thanks to a series of anti-Trump and anti-GOP missteps.
The latest was Ryan’s refusal to immediately condemn the violence of alt-left Antifa thugs, who have repeatedly rioted, vandalized property, and assaulted Trump supporters.
Now, four Republican congressional candidates refused to commit their support to Ryan when asked if they planned to vote for him if he runs for Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Here are the surprising responses the Republicans gave at a candidate forum at the Minnesota State Fair (via the Washington Post):
- “I think he’s going in the wrong direction,” said state Rep. Tim Miller.
- “I would prefer someone else,” said commercial pilot Dave Hughes.
- “We’ll see who runs for Speaker,” said businessman Jim Hagedorn.
- “He might not even run for Speaker. When I’m in Congress, I’ll let you know,” said St. Louis County Commissioner Pete Stauber.
Last weekend in Berkeley, California, two people ended up in the hospital after Antifa rioters crashed an anti-Marxist rally being held by Trump supporters and other conservatives.
Alt-left thugs beat up random Trump supporters or people they believed were Trump supporters. Predictably, unprincipled Democrats stood by silently and said nothing.
Finally, Democratic Senator Nancy Pelosi condemned the group on Tuesday. Pelosi was pressured to disavow because she had incited mob violence at the event to begin with.
Amid public uproar, Speaker Ryan finally condemned the alt-left Antifa thugs late-Wednesday — a day after Pelosi did.
Antifa terrorists assault disabled elderly veteran in wheelchair:pic.twitter.com/yduXIzuxcl
— Democrats for Trump (@YoungDems4Trump) August 31, 2017
“Speaker Ryan believes, as is obvious, these individuals are left-wing thugs, and those who are committing violence need to be arrested and prosecuted,” Ryan’s rep said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “Antifa is a scourge on our country.”
Ryan has dragged his heels for months before finally rebuking Antifa this week. In contrast, he immediately condemned the white nationalists in Charlottesville in early August.
This is a stunning fall from grace for Paul Ryan, who was once a political rock star widely considered the future of the GOP. In 2012, he was the Republican nominee for vice president of the United States.
Since then, Ryan has come under fire by Trump supporters for not having the president’s back when he’s being assailed relentlessly by the liberal media, Democrats, and fellow Republicans.
In March, Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs demanded Ryan resign as Speaker. “He had achieved next to nothing in his entire career before becoming Speaker, and he’s worked against his party’s presidential nominee and he lost,” Dobbs said. “It’s time for Ryan to vacate the Speaker’s office in the interest of his party and, in fact, the nation.”
Dobbs said obstructionist RINOs (Republicans in name only) like Ryan appear “hell-bent” on destroying the Republican party and President Trump. With “friends” like that, who needs enemies? he asked.
“[Ryan is more interested in] what’s best for his donors, corporate interests, banks, health insurers,” Dobbs said.